Forming a sole proprietorship does involve some risks, mainly to the owner of the business, as legally speaking they are not treated separately from the business. Some disadvantages of sole proprietorship are-
- Liability: The business owner will be held directly responsible for any losses, debts, or violations coming from the business. For example if the business must pay any debts, these will be satisfied from the owner’s own personal funds. The owner could be sued for any unlawful acts committed by the employees. This is drastically different from corporations, wherein the members enjoy limited liability (i.e., they cannot be held liable for losses or violations)
- Taxes: While there are many tax benefits to sole proprietorships, a main drawback is that the owner must pay self-employment taxes. Also, some tax benefits may not be deductible, such as health insurance premiums for employees.
- Lack of “continuity”: The business does not continue if the owner becomes deceased or incapacitated, since they are treated as one and the same. Upon the owner’s death, the business is liquidated and becomes part of the owner’s personal estate, to be distributed to This can result in heavy tax consequences on beneficiaries due to inheritance taxes and estate taxes.
- Difficulty in raising capital: Since the initial funds are usually provided by the owner, it can be difficult to generate capital. Sole proprietorships do not issue stocks or other money-generating investments like corporations do.
So, while sole proprietorship do not necessarily create more liabilities, they do expose the business owner to a risk of being sued. Lawsuits can be filed against the business owner for legal violations, as well as to collect any outstanding debts. State the limitations of sole proprietorship business.